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. they also want us to begin to balance the books just like we did under president clinton with a sensible, balanced approach, one that led to increasing wages across the board, increasing productivity, increasing employment, and a budget surplus in 2000 before president george w. bush took over. last year we cook a step in that direction. we cut $1 trillion in federal spending, we don't hear much about it particularly from the other side of the aisle. but what it means is that every discretionary program will see less funding for the next decade, which will have a huge impact on my state and every state in this country. now, if we're going to cut spending on education, research, and transportation to the tune of approximately $1 trillion, i think most americans recognize that the other side of the equation has to be considered. revenue needs to be part of the balance plan to reduce the debt. and the simple fact of the matter is that virtually every expert panel and commentator has said clearly in order to reduce the deficit to a sustainable level, revenues have to go up. it's a matter of
president clinton to cut tax rates. many democrats opposed him then because the tax cuts were unfair, favoring the highest-income americans. to overcome that obstacle, the republicans resorted to a parliamentary technique, budget reconciliation, a maneuver that allowed for passage of their tax cuts but forced them to expire after 2010, at the end of the ten-year budget window. so we scroll forward to 2010. as 2010 ended, president obama and many democrats in congress, including myself, wanted to extend the tax cuts for middle-class families but let rates on income above $200,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a family revert to the clinton era levels. our senate republican friends filibustered that effort, refusing to allow the middle-class tax cut without a tax cut for the highest incomes as well. their hostage strategy worked that time and the president and senate democrats reluctantly agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years. so now the two years is up and these tax rates are again set to expire. that's why senate democrats passed the middle-class tax cuts act in july.
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